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stevehnz

Clive Caldwell Tomahawk II photo, anywhere?

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I've recently made a Hobbyboss Easy kit in the markings that come with it for Clive Caldwell, at the time he was a Flt Lt in 250 sqn in North Africa.

DSCF2637.jpg

The kit came with grey code letters which I replaced by the same size in white but to me they look too small. They scale 18" & I think scale 24" would be about right but the problem is, I don't know. I've found photos of other 250sqn aircraft, profiles of this by the score, none of which agree with each other & I used the Xtradecal marking guide for placement. To be fair, the Xtradecal guide appears to show 24" codes but I'm also unhappy about their roundel placement, again, I'm not seeing any others placed that far forward, ie right up against the tail of the rear view clear panes. I really really need to see a photo on this. My google fu has failed me & my references re North Africa have done so too. Help, someone. :unsure:

Steve.

Edited to replace blurry photo with sharper one.

Edited by stevehnz

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Thanks for the suggestion, I'm waiting for my registration to be approved & hoping it might be the magic bullet to my conundrum.

Steve.

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Most of the profiles I found of LD-C on the net have the roundel further back, no photo tho ...

Here's one that has the roundels at the same far forward position like in the xtradecal instructions:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Curtiss_Tomahawk_403_Sqn_RCAF_in_flight_1941.jpg

Tho wait, I've found one albeit without codes:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FVuaJYIXoSY/UVtK1fEWhUI/AAAAAAAABPc/p8NGxage20g/s1600/CRC024.jpg

CRC024.jpg

Caldwell in front of his Tomahawk after he was shot at on 29 August 1941.

http://kristenalexanderauthor.blogspot.co.at/2013/04/the-genesis-of-clive-caldwell-air-ace.html

The author of that blog has also written this book:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5gZTyLpZ5EM/ViAmhAD9OFI/AAAAAAAACyA/Kx2F4_7-0VQ/s1600/biography3.jpg

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Hi All,

Although the serial is not visible in the picture that occa posted, according to the ORB it is AK493 of "K" Flight, 250 Squadron.

Cheers,

Daniel.

Operations Record Book

250 Squadron

SUMMARY OF EVENTS

SIDI HENEISH

SOUTH.

29/8. 1730

10 TOMAHAWKS again patrolled H.M. SHIPS: NORTH of SIDI BARRANI. Part of our Squadron was being relieved at 1910 hrs. – P/O. C.R. CALDWELL who was weaving was attacked from the rear right quarter by 2 M.E. 109’s. Both aircraft and pilot were hit and after attempting to shoot one of the M.E. 109’s down he returned to O.LG. at dusk and landed safely.

Operations Record Book

250 Squadron

DETAIL OF WORK CARRIED OUT

“K” Flight 250 Squadron

29/8/41

AK493 P/O CALDWELL PATROL 1715-1945

COMBAT (FIGHTER) REPORT

Pilot: Pilot Officer. C.R. Caldwell. RAAF.

Duty: Patrol over H.M. SHIPS.

Squadron: 250 Sqdn.

Place: at Sea off SIDI Barrani – 10 miles

Date: 29 8 41.

Time: 1905 hrs.

Weather: Fine

1. Number, type and formation of our own aircraft taking part in attack:

10 Tomahawks.

8 flying in sections of 2 line astern stepped down. 2 Weaving.

2. Height when first sighting enemy:

5,000 ft.

3. Position of enemy (relative to own aircraft) when first sighted:

Above. Rear quarter.

Not seen by self.

4. Type of enemy aircraft:

M.E.109’s.

5. Number and formation of enemy aircraft:

Five or more.

6. Was own approach observed or unobserved:

Observed.

7. Type of attack delivered on enemy:

In first instance enemy delivered attack.

See narrative re subsequent action on my part.

8. Action taken by enemy:

2 M.E. 109’s dived and attacked me 1 one from astern, one from port side.

9. Result of engagement including own and enemy casualties:

My aircraft damaged. Fuselage, (unintelligible) cowlings, rudder, aileron, Star’d. Star’d. main plane, flap, STAR’d wheel – Oil return pipe. I sustained superficial wounds from fragments of explosive bullets, broken glass and metal splinters.

10. Special comments:

SEE NARRATIVE

NARRATIVE

At approximately 1905 hrs. whilst acting as weaver for my formation I was attacked by two M.E. 109’s apparently simultaneously one from astern, the other from the port side, neither of which I saw personally. Bullets from astern damaged tail, tail trimming gear, fuselage and starboard main plane; while the aileron on that side was destroyed and a sizeable hole made in trailing edge and the flap, some four feet in board from the aileron, evidently by cannon shells, a quantity of splinters from which pierced the cowling and side of the cockpit, some entering my leg and right side. Fire from the portside, seemingly almost full deflection shots damaged the fuselage, a number of bullets entering my left shoulder and hip, small pieces of glass embedding in my face, my helmet and goggles being pulled askew across my nose and eyes – no doubt by a near miss. As a result of the hits on the main plane and probable excessive avoiding action the aircraft spun out of control. Checking the spin, I blacked-out when pulling out of the ensuing dive, recovering to find flames in the cockpit.

Pulling the pin from the safety harness I started to climb out to abandon the aircraft, when the fire, evidently caused by oil and not petrol as I thought, died out so I decided to remain and attempt a landing.

Looking behind me as I crossed the coast at about 500 ft, some 6 miles East of Sidi Barrani and going South East I saw a number of planes manoeuvring off the point of Barrani in a manner, suggesting an engagement. As my plane appeared to answer controls reasonably well, apart from turns, oil pressure and temperature being satisfactory despite quantity of oil splashed freely over floor,, side and windscreen, I made a gradual turn and climbed back toward the said aircraft finally carrying out an attack on what I believed was a M.E. 109 which took severe avoiding action. Having previously lost the pin to my harness I was holding the straps with my left hand for security, which together with the damage already sustained by the machine it unadvisable to attempt match in the way of quick change of attitude so I carried straight on to very low level and continued on to my base arriving at 2010 hrs. Oil temperature and pressure remained satisfactory all the way, - using half flap only, because of damage to starboard flap, I landed to find the starboard tyre flat as a result of a bullet hole. By use of left brake and rudder I was fortunate in bringing the aircraft to rest without damage.

(Sgd). C.R. CALDWELL P/O.

R.A.A.F.

P.S. Just for your interest Steve, Caldwell flew his first patrol in AK498 (the plane your model depicts) on 31 August 1941.

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Thanks Martin & Daniel for that info. Although the photo of the damaged AK493 is not Caldwells LD-C it's roundel position ties in with what I've seen of other 250 sqn Tomahawks, though I'm wondering where Xtradecal got the info for their decal guide. I just know that if I change the position of the roundel to the rear, someone will pop up with a photo that confirms the forward positioning.:unsure: I think I need to ride this one for a bit. :)

Steve.

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P.S. Just for your interest Steve, Caldwell flew his first patrol in AK498 (the plane your model depicts) on 31 August 1941.

Now here is a conundrum

http://www.warbirdregistry.org/p40registry/p40-ak498.html

Yet it is not listed on the museum's site

Edited by Charlie Hugo

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Thanks for those ORB pages Daniel, this whole query seems to be taking on a life of its own. I'm more & more concerned to get this right, I might have to redo the serials too ( they're a bit small, probably 6" rather than 8". & that windscreen really does need an armoured pane inside it. Oh heck, this was 'sposed to be a simple OOB build but some retrograde AMS seems to be creeping in. :undecided:

Steve.

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Thanks Martin & Daniel for that info. Although the photo of the damaged AK493 is not Caldwells LD-C it's roundel position ties in with what I've seen of other 250 sqn Tomahawks, though I'm wondering where Xtradecal got the info for their decal guide. I just know that if I change the position of the roundel to the rear, someone will pop up with a photo that confirms the forward positioning. :unsure: I think I need to ride this one for a bit. :)

Steve.

Steve I think xtradecal took the position from later when the sky band was added where the roundel had to be positioned further forward to leave place for the codes.

Curtiss_Tomahawk_403_Sqn_RCAF_in_flight_

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Curtiss_Tomahawk_403_Sqn_RCAF_in_flight_1941.jpg

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There is a good photo on the web of 250 Sqn Tomahawk AK374 LD-H after a crashlanding , gives good position of roundel and white codes.

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There is a good photo on the web of 250 Sqn Tomahawk AK374 LD-H after a crashlanding , gives good position of roundel and white codes.

LDoH.jpg

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Thanks Martin Syd & VB, the crashed LD-H was one shot I'd seen that led me towards that roundel placing. I rather think I'll redo the roundel & codes to that & dare anyone to prove me wrong. I couldn't find anything in Ausmodeller that was definitive, at least that spacing has a more pleasing symmetry to it. :)

Steve.

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I'm not saying this has become a burr under my saddle blanket, OK it has, so I invaded the googlesphere yet again & came up with some interesting stuff. None especially definitive but defintely a smell of cordite if not a smoking gun ( ie, still no pictures of Caldwell's LD-C) but first up I found a larger copy of the Xtradecal instructions. & was able to read the references they gave for this scheme. As it turned out I either had them or was able to find them on line. All three quoted show a rearward roundel placement, pretty much centred with the rear of the wing fillet or slightly behind. here is the Frog box bottom colour scheme, The photo of another 250 sqn LD-T in the Squadron signal book, not one I thought to look at :( & the Osprey #38 P-40 Commonwealth Aces also bear this out though again not with an actual photo. Nonetheless, I think I'm going to go with the rearward roundel position, just have to scratch around in my decals for some more roundels & trim up some 24" codes, watch this space. What on earth were Xtradecal thinking, they've completely contradicted their own references for this? :confused:

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

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For better or worse, this was the final product. I think its looks more right.

DSCF2639.jpg

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

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